The Ottawa Senators have announced that winger Clarke MacArthur has suffered a concussion as the result of a hard, blindside hit in training camp earlier today. In an update with GM Pierre Dorion, he confirmed the diagnosis, and stated that MacArthur was sent home and that his condition will be treated as day-to-day until further notice. MacArthur missed most of the 2015-16 season with a concussion, playing in only four games, and was on-track to be healthy for the start of the season. That is now in doubt after another head injury.
The hit in question took place in the corner of the ice during a scrimmage, when defenseman Patrick Sieloff appeared to hit MacArthur high and against the boards, causing his upper body to slam against the glass. MacArthur went down immediately and had to be helped off the ice. Bobby Ryan immediately went after Sieloff, starting a fight that ended with an angry, profanity-laced rant toward the defenseman. Chris Neil and Derick Brassard both went after Sieloff as well as the game continued, before he was asked to leave the ice. Sieloff, who was acquired by the Senators this summer from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Alex Chiasson, was hoping to earn a roster spot in camp. That seems extremely unlikely now, as the young blue liner has lost the locker room in Ottawa. Many members of the Senators were reportedly shaken by witnessing the injury, good friend Dion Phaneuf in particular, as MacArthur is very well-liked among his team mates. Although it is a rough start in a new place for a player who was likely just trying to show off his toughness, Sieloff’s hit would have been a major penalty in a real game and is simply unacceptable in a team scrimmage.
Hopefully the concussion is only low-grade, as MacArthur is a key piece of the Senator’s offense when healthy. In his first season in Ottawa, back in 2013-14, he scored 55 points, including a career-high 24 goals. However, injury concerns have slowed him down and another major concussion might not mean just another lengthy injury stint; it could derail his hockey career altogether. The Senators, their players, and fans are certainly hoping for the best for MacArthur. More information will likely be available in the coming week.